Dissection of Host Cell Signal Transduction during Acinetobacter baumannii – Triggered Inflammatory Response

Catalina March, Verónica Regueiro, Enrique Llobet, David Moranta, Pau Morey, Junkal Garmendia, José A. Bengoechea

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Infected airway epithelial cells up-regulate the expression of chemokines, chiefly IL-8, and antimicrobial molecules including ß-defensins (BD). Acinetobacter baumannii is a cause of hospital-acquired pneumonia. We examined whether A. baumannii induced the expressions of IL-8 and BD2 by airway epithelial cells and the receptors implicated in bacterial detection. A549 and human primary airway cells released IL-8 upon infection. A. baumannii-infected cells also increased the expression of BD2 which killed A. baummannii strains. IL-8 induction was via NF-B and mitogen-activated kinases p38 and p44/42-dependent pathways. A. baumannii engaged Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 pathways and A549 cells could use soluble CD14 as TLRs co-receptor. A. baumannii lipopolysaccharide stimulated IL-8 release by A549 cells and sCD14 facilitated the recognition of the lipopolysaccharide. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that A. baumannii lipid A structure matches those with endotoxic potential. These results demonstrate that airway epithelial cells produce mediators important for A. baumannii clearance.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10033
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

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Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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